Tag Archives: THC

Case to Challenge Pot Legalization Ballot goes to Highest Court

Marijuana Industry To Come Clean About Reliance on Highly Potent Products In Massachusetts

Tomorrow the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts will hear a case to dismiss the petition to legalize commercial marijuana. Hensley vs. Attorney General was filed about five weeks ago.  The suit  alleges voters have not been told that high concentrations of THC could be added to food or beverages, such as candy, cookies or soda, under this proposal. Nor were voters told that the question would allow for the sale of genetically modified forms of marijuana with THC concentrations of 60 percent or higher.  The Bellotti Law Group filed the suit on behalf of 59 voters.l

The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is not a party to the suit, but the campaign believes that legal challenge raises important issues, especially the high THC levels of today’s marijuana products.  The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts reiterated its call on the marijuana industry to discuss the fact that it will rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts.

One Marijuana Industry representative in Colorado admitted that efforts to cap THC levels at a rate above what the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited hard drug would “gut the industry” in that state.

Statement from Nick Bayer, campaign manager for a Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts:

“As this case is heard before the SJC, we believe the Marijuana Industry should acknowledge what we all know, that it will need to rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts to make a profit. This ballot question would open the door to the selling of a drug that is 400% more potent than the marijuana of even a generation ago, and edible products that have no restrictions placed on THC levels. People deserve to know what they are voting on, and this more powerful drug will have a great impact on families and young people.”

Some additional facts include:

Today’s commercial marijuana industry is producing and pushing products with average THC (the psychoactive element which creates the high) levels multiple times higher than found in the 1970s—frequently at or above the 15% THC level that the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited “hard drug.”

Edible products, which the ballot measure specifically authorizes, make up about half the marijuana market in Colorado and would likely do the same here. Edibles use extracts with THC content that can rise as high as 90%.

In a recent interview, the head of Colorado’s marijuana trade association told a news outlet that an effort in his state to cap THC levels at 16% “literally would gut” his industry. Marijuana Business Daily quoted Mike Elliot, executive director of The Marijuana Industry Group, as saying the proposed THC cap would “would probably ban all the concentrates and most of the edibles and most of the flowers that people grow, too. Most of the flower that our industry is growing is above 16% THC.”

A bi-partisan group of politicians is leading the charge against legalization in Massachusetts, including Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.   An impressive group of school superintendents and other civic organizations have already spoken out against legalization.  It’s time that similar leadership form in California.

Legislature Fails to Enact Stoned Driving Laws

Public Safety at Risk without Protection Against Stoned Drivers

Once again, public safety has been forced into the back seat by those who profit from marijuana sales with the help of the California legislators they influence.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee sidelined a measure (AB 2740) by Assemblymen Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) that would have made it a crime for a person who has 5 nanograms/ml or more of THC, the psycho-active ingredient in pot, in their blood to drive a vehicle. The Senate Appropriations Committee also killed a measure (SB 1462) by Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) that would have allowed law enforcement officers to use oral swab tests to determine if more costly blood tests should be performed.

Legalizing pot is on the ballot in November, but the legislature is refusing to protect California citizens.  Five months after Colorado legalized and allowed commercial marijuana stores, a stoned driver critically injured Colorado High School teacher Keri Phillips Headley. She is now an avid opponent of marijuana legalization.  

In California, stoned drivers are already an urgent problem.  (For information on the crash of 5/27/16 pictured above that injured 7, read here.

“To say we don’t have enough information to determine impairment is ludicrous. Why do we continue to allow back door legalization of marijuana with so-called “medical marijuana” in this state without even setting a safe level of use or warning people not to drive under the influence?” asks Scott Chipman, co-chairman of Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana (CALM)

“Drugged driving and particularly marijuana-impaired driving are serious and growing problems in California,” Chipman explains.  “In my own community of San Diego, we have had 2 people killed and one permanently injured by marijuana- impaired drivers in just the last two months.”

“Nevada has had a per se limit of 2 nanograms since 1999 and their jails are NOT filled with marijuana drivers,” says Phillip Drum, Pharm. D. and whose sister was killed by a marijuana-impaired driver in Seattle, Washington in 2012. “According to national driving fatality records, there have been over 1551 marijuana driving deaths in California from 2010 – 2014. This is the profits of “BIG Marijuana” being more important than the lives of Californians from the damages this hallucinogen causes on the roadways on a daily basis across our nation.”

Carla Lowe, CALM founder said: “Shame on those legislators that allow themselves to be influenced, putting the interests of drug dealers and illicit drug users before the need for safe roads and travel in California! Drugged driving and the associated fatalities have skyrocketed in Washington and Colorado with 33% of DUIs testing positive for marijuana. Yet in California we don’t even get the appropriate blood tests performed to track the problem, let alone the proper public safety policies.”  (It should be noted that the threshhold for impairment in Washington and Colorado are both at 5 nanograms per millileter of blood.  If the limit were as low as Nevada, there would be fewer accidents.)

We call on all Californians to reject legalization of marijuana and demand policies that protect all of us from drug impaired drivers, drug dealers and users.

Marijuana Impairment and Driving

by Ed Wood, founder of DUID Voices and resident of Colorado. The article originally appeared on the DUID Victims’ Voices Blog
Colorado’s Law is Fatally Flawed as a Measure of Marijuana Impairment

The fatal flaws of Colorado’s law regarding driving under the influence of marijuana have now come to light. Set at 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, the 5 ng THC permissible inference law is bad. (The 5 ng law firmly positioned Colorado with the weakest DUID laws in the nation.) Colorado’s law was supposed to make it somewhat easier to convict a stoned driver of DUI if they tested at or above 5 ng/ml of THC in whole blood — while making it extremely difficult to convict a stoned driver Continue reading Marijuana Impairment and Driving